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Apr 7, 2012

external image Dr-Seuss-The-Lorax-starring-Danny-DeVito-Zac-Efron-Ed-Helms-Taylor-Swift-and-Betty-White-Review.jpgThis computer animated 3D film released by Universal pictures and produced by Illumination Entertainment is based on the eponymous book for children by Dr. Seuss. Beginning on the note of love, the film rolls on to revolve around the life of TRed, a young boy, filled with ideals and emotions dwelling in the city of Thneed-Ville. As we watch Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax online, we get to know that apart from its inhabitants, everything else that the city comprised was artificial. He finds his soul grappling with love for this young lady, Audrey, who eventually turns into the girl of his dreams with an inherent passion for real trees. He decides to grow the finest of trees for his love and to fulfill her dream, embarks on a search for seeds. Soon he realizes that the entire city has been cut off from the outside world and seeks the assistance of the lonely character, Once-ler.

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Download Sr. Seuss’ The Lorax movie to hear the recluse narrating his encounter with the charming yet grumpy guardian of the land, Lorax. The moment the young businessman introduces a rebellious invention from the tufts of the native Truffula Tree, serious overproduction takes place, causing depletion to the forest and isolation of Ted’s hometown. Ted is motivated after hearing the whole story to an extent that with the last Truffula Seed, and blessings of Once-ler, Ted moves out to remind people of his town, the important of taking care of and preserving nature. On his way, Ted finds a lot of hatred in store for Lorax within the Mayor and his close accomplices, who knit together a barrier that Ted has to push aside in order to turn successful in his objective.

Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax is one of the most phenomenal animated works ever to be projected on the big screen. The movie is an adaptation of the children’s novel by the same name, written by the deceased and highly acclaimed author, Dr. Seuss. The movie’s release date coincides with the 108th death anniversary of the writer, making it a tribute of sorts to the legacy that he left behind. If you wish to be a part of this honorary celebration, starring the likes of Zac Efron and Taylor Swift, you can watch Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax online to do so.

The movie follows the escapades of its central character, a young boy named Ted, as he sets off on an unlikely mission, in search of a real tree. While that may sound as an easy task in the world that we live in, it is a herculean task in the city of “Thneed-Ville”, which is home to Ted. The city’s peculiarity is that it is sealed from the real world, and the only thing that is not artificial in it is its people. That is why, Ted’s love interest, a lovely girl named Audrey, expresses her greatest wish as the desire to see a real tree. The movie amidst all its fun and 3D frolic, gives us a rather grim glimpse into what the world ahead is likely to be, if we mercilessly keep axing the trees and depleting forests around us. With the fuzzy, yellow creature The Lorax serving as Ted’s sole companion in his challenging mission, and the shady mayor of Thneed-Ville, O’Hare leaving no stone unturned to wreak havoc over their efforts, the movie is packed with thrill galore!

external image Zac-Efron-and-Taylor-Swift-in-The-Lorax.jpgDr. Seuss was ahead of his time. A flat-out creative innovator. Cementing his trademark wild and free renderings and rhyming linguistic liberties, 1957's "The Cat in the Hat" brought mainstream children's books into the realm of absurd yet agreeable anarchy. There were many great books in the surrounding years, but with 1971's "The Lorax", the good doctor delivered a moral tale of levelheaded environmentalism before there were such things as eco-politics and environmental activism. And perhaps since Seuss (actually Theodor Seuss Geisel) was quoted having said, "kids can see a moral coming a mile off," he boldly left the tale unresolved, with only the possibility of hope. A few years later, the author teamed with his friend, animation genius Chuck Jones, to faithfully and memorably adapt "The Lorax" into an animated short.

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Cut to now: The makers of "Despicable Me" (a fine and funny film in its own right) have seen fit to take on "The Lorax" via three dimensional computer animation. The result is a clearly pained effort to please everyone. The film strives to be loyal to the source material, but also wants to pander to children in an obnoxiously modern, completely non-Seuss-ian way. Even if one is unfamiliar with the book (and one shouldn't ever need to be familiar with source material in order to enjoy an adaptation), this clashing dichotomy breeds failure at the core of the movie. These filmmakers may understand that Dr. Seuss' sensibility was wacky, but the adaptation they ended up making is tonally whacked. Now we have Dr. Seuss in 3D, reminding us that he wasn't just ahead of his time - he's in your face!!! The wizened old Lorax (voiced by Danny DeVito, reasonably typecast) may look the same in his CG form, but this version is loud and combative whereas the original was all about slow-burn truth saying and passive justice. We know that eventually, the Once-ler gives Ted the very last seed of the very last tree. But what happens after that? A crazy 3D high speed chase, of course!

The actual story of the film is all-new, consisting of a young boy named Ted's (voice of Zac Efron) quest to win the heart of a girl (Audrey, doing little more than enabling the plot, voiced by Taylor Swift) by bringing her a rarely glimpsed, perhaps mythical thing called a "tree". They all live in a "Truman Show"-like domed, sealed town called Thneedville that is completely artificial, right down to the inflatable bushes and light bulb trees that adorn the yards. Ted's mother explains to him how a light bulb tree is superior to a real tree by shifting the light colors at the push of a button: "We have winter, spring, summer... and disco!" (Needle-drop "The Hustle" as a glitter ball emerges and she does a little dance. Yeah.)

external image downloadWatchBtn_a.pngCorporate greed has come a long way since 1971, and the filmmakers acknowledge that with a newly created villain, a sawed-off mogul named Mr. O'Hare (Rob Riggle). O'Hare has mastered the art of creating circular corporate dependence with his O'Hare Air, a company that is too big to fail. (A sign says so!) O'Hare has made a fortune selling clean air to the people of smog-filled Thneedville, and now has a plan to push it to the next level by selling them bottled air (since market research shows that people will buy something if it's in a plastic bottle), a product of his factories that are directly responsible for the smog in the first place. As long as everyone stays happy in their domed city with their fake trees - and no real ones, since they make clean air on their own! - all will continue as is, and Mr. O'Hare will only grow richer. Unlike the Once-ler's downfall, there is no finite end to his raw materials - he's literally selling people nothing. Eco-irresponsibility was the Once-ler's weakness, actual knowledge and a motivated populace is O'Hare's. Any way you look at it, it's all greed-driven - and kids can see that from a mile away.

As Ted must go convince the banished Once-ler to help him in his quest, the film becomes a sort of "The Silence of the Lambs" for kids. Ted is Clarice, the Once-ler is Hannibal Lecter, and O'Hare is Jame Gumb. It's tempting call the Thneedville/O'Hare portions "bookends" or "framework" to the book's story, which is reduced to a glorified flashback that eats up the prolonged middle of the film, but that's not right. The flashback is wedged into the center of the film, and is meant to explain first and foremost what happened to all the authentic trees and pure nature, and perhaps secondly, to make some sort of point about cyclical human greed and rampant disregard for our planet. The previously unseen Once-ler (the regretful character who once upon a time indulged in nature-destroying greed in order to mass-produce Thneeds, a product no one needed) is now striped of his mystery (which always sent my imagination surging as kid) and is given a human face and the disingenuous voice of Ed Helms. In most any other film, the content detailed in the Once-ler's flashback would run five, maybe ten minutes tops. But since this adaptation exists only because of the iconic source material, it gets decompressed as the movie's newly fabricated macro story is put on hold. The Once-ler essentially says so much, repeatedly prodding the boy that if he wants the tree, he has to sit through this story. (Hey, I sat through it, too - do I get a tree?)

external image Lorax-onceler.jpgWhere most children's films of the past few decades are compelled to preach about things like tolerance and environmentalism, "The Lorax" takes this notion a step further by deeply questioning the very way many people live their lives. (That is, pacified and blitzed out in a consumer culture, checked out from an increasingly artificial world.) It's bit of a bold move for a film like this to turn the mirror towards ourselves, revealing such an uncomfortable reality, even if it is only for isolated moments. What we end up with, perhaps amusingly, is practically a cinematic call to arms. As noble as this endeavor may be, it's utterly botched in the heavy-handed execution.

"Dr. Seuss' The Lorax" is colorful and bright, with 3D that's actually not a waste (even if director Chris Renaud's use of it isn't as clever as what he was doing in "Despicable Me"). Certainly the late Theodor Geisel would approve of that aspect. But the problems inherent in the bungled sensibility of "The Lorax" film are fundamentally unsettling, leading one to question the true motivations behind Seuss' estate's in licensing their patriarch's work all over Hollywood. George Clooney's relatives in "The Descendents" can't help but come to mind, especially as we consider this ham-fisted CG diatribe against greed. If that double standard isn't clear enough, the Lorax character can currently be seen hawking fuel-guzzling cars on commercials. We are all children of the age of corporate greed, but hopefully by looking at this film from all sides, we too can see the true moral from a mile away.
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Posted: Apr 7, 2012 2:14am


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